14 November 2021
Location: The end of Kowhai Street, Eastbourne, Lower Hutt 5013
This is a great half day walk which includes a well maintained track, amazing views of the Wellington Harbour, beautiful native bush and a lovely picnic spot.
We parked at the bottom of Kowhai Street in Muritai; the walk entrance is at the end of the street and is well sign posted.
The track to the top of the ridge is a bit of a climb; the silver lining is that it's a great track and the views of the harbour are stunning. Plan for a couple of stops as it is a bit of a grind on little legs. After the initial climb you then descend into the valley below, just follow the signs to the Butterfly Creek picnic area. Bug spray is a must if you are susceptible, especially in the warmer months. It's a wide open space with plenty of picnic tables, though it has a total fire ban all year round so leave the cooker at home. There is also a long-drop (although everyone decided they'd just hold on :)
After a quick bite to eat we retraced our steps back along the track until we came to a split in the track. We could either return the way we'd come (back to Kowhai Street) or take the Muritai Park track. We opted for Muritai Park as everyone loves a loop walk. It is a little bit longer though, so if you find everyone has run out of puff you could always take the shorter route.
The Muritai Park track meanders alongside the creek with lots of small bridges and boardwalks. After a while we arrived at the base of the hill track which has another little climb back up to the top of the ridge.
From the top there are a couple of ways to descend. We chose to take the Muritai Park track down. It's well maintained, has beautiful views and quite a good gradient. The other is Kaeaea Track which goes to the same place but is a little more rugged.
Once at Muritai Park you turn left onto Muritai Road and amble south back to Kowhai Street.
We completed the whole circuit in 1 hour 40 minutes though it pays to note we ran/jogged a lot of the way (everyone is getting fitter). If you are walking, it pays to set aside 2 to 3 hours for the whole loop.
Age of Kids: Miss 6 and Master 9
Walking Time: 1 hour 40 minutes (loop)
Buggy Friendly: No
Amenities: There's lots of picnic tables and a long drop toilet at Butterfly Creek.
Dogs: As long as they're on a lead
Be Aware: While we thought this was really easy (the track is well maintained, the gradient isn't too steep etc) you do need to climb up to the ridge and then down to Butterfly Creek (it was a total of 325m elevation) so we've graded it as moderate.
Kids Rating (0-10)
Overall Fun Factor: 8
Legendary Factor: 5
Would we do it again?: 9
Exhaustion Factor: 4
Below are some screen grabs from our All Trails App (we still just have the free version)